Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Saudi Arabia held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India. The joint statement issued on the sidelines of the bilateral meet between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlights the following:
- Affirming that extremism and terrorism threaten all nations, India and Saudi Arabia rejected any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to a particular race, religion or culture.
- Without naming Pakistan the joint statement said that nations should renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
- Constitution of a ‘comprehensive security dialogue’ at the level of national security advisor and setting up of a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
- Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to meeting India’s growing needs for crude oil and petroleum products and substitute for any shortages that may arise as a result of disruptions from other sources without naming Iran.
- Saudi Arabia also increased India’s Haj quota by about 25,000. India’s Haj quota now stands at 2 lakh.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia has already invested $44 billion in India since the PM’s visit in 2016 and they see an investment opportunity of worth $100 billion in sectors like energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing.
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the recent terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
India is now the second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. This is attributed to government initiatives to push for cleaner alternatives to traditional cooking fuels such as firewood and cow dung.
Import of LPG
The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. India now stands at the second position when it comes to the import of LPG surpassing Japan. India is at second place behind China. The exporters of LPG to India include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran.
Consumption of LPG
The number of active LPG consumers in India has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent – from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18.
Increase in population combined with LPG penetration in rural areas has resulted in an average growth of 8.4 per cent in LPG consumption, making India the second largest consumer of LPG in the world at 22.5 million tonnes.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas estimates that LPG consumption would grow to 30.3 million tonnes by 2025 and 40.6 million tonnes by 2040.
The flagship scheme of the government Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has made a significant contribution towards enhancing the penetration of LPG, especially in rural areas. The renewed targets under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to provide LPG connections to 8 crore households before March 31, 2020.